Annual Symposium

“Building a world in tune upon a background of hatreds, jealousies, misunderstandings, and bitterness is the task of us who sing these songs today. Barriers of language, creed, color, and race must be broken down.”

– Max Krone, 1946

“What Max firmly believed was that music and the arts were good for men, women, and children of all nationalities, of all races, of all ages, of all religious beliefs. He fervently hoped that we could help bring the blessings of music and the arts in an idyllic environment to more people.”

– Bee Krone, 1996


When founding Idyllwild Arts Academy, the Krones envisioned a place where creative individuals from around the world would come to make art, using their craft and passion to gain appreciation, understanding, and empathy towards ourselves and others.  In the same spirit, the annual Art-in-Society event recognizes artistic expression not for its capacity to generate fame or material success, but for its ability to give voice to people who are underrepresented. Art can break down existing systems of oppression and overcome barriers of race, class, and gender to empower marginalized groups and realize the mutual humanity of all. Creative thinking is essential for mobilizing social change and cultural shifts. The power and privilege that comes from the cultivation of artistic skills also brings a responsibility to use such talents to work towards creative solutions to world problems.


At the heart of this event is a cross-disciplinary recognition of a shared identity as artists, and that the work of all artists plays an essential role in our society. Questions such as “How does art make the world a better place?”, “In what ways does art influence society?”, and “How should an artist relate to others in the world?” will be raised and explored, particularly through a social justice lens. This discussion is essential for the students of Idyllwild Arts; the increasing complexity of our world demands artists who are equipped with skills to navigate and engage issues of our global society.


The annual symposium brings together renowned social-issue-oriented artists from a variety of disciplines. Each guest conducts a masterclass with our students and participates in a keynote panel session where they describe their work and their thoughts on how art relates to society.


You can find more information about our past 2015 symposium here and our upcoming 2016 symposium here.